Kenyan Official: 2,700 Ugandans Dead in Somalia

One of the 1800 Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers being sent to the African Union peace keeping mission in Somalia in a drill at Singo Military training camp about 100 kms north of Uganda capital Kampala, Dec. 21, 2010. UPDF Gen. Katumba Wamala said the United States government has upgraded the camp with training facilities, constructed dining hall and sleeping tents worth US$1.8 million for a capacity of 1800 soldiers being trained for the Somalia peace mission.
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By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The number of African Union troops killed while battling Somali militants has always been a tightly held secret, but a top Kenyan official says more than 2,700 troops have died there.

Richard Onyonka , Kenya's deputy minister of foreign affairs, said Wednesday at a forum on Somalia that Uganda has lost more than 2,700 troops since 2007. Onyonko said about three dozen Kenyan forces have died there over the last year.

Neither the African Union nor Uganda has ever confirmed its casualty figures, and several officials who work on Somalia said Onyonko's figure sounded high. Two officials told The Associated Press last month that about 500 Ugandan and Burundian troops have died in Somalia since 2007. A Ugandan spokesman did not answer calls for comment.

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